Tabor beats Bethany 41-27, evens record at 2-2

Tabor College beat the Bethany Swedes in Lindsborg on Saturday by a final score of 41-27 on the strength of a 21-point offensive outburst in the first quarter.

Tabor received the opening kickoff and Aaron Jenkins got things going for the Bluejays with a 31 yard catch at the Bethany 5. Julius Williams took an option pitch5 yards to cap Tabor’s first drivewith a touchdown 11:22 into the game.

The Bluejays scored again four and a half minutes later when DeJuan Jones found Caleb Marsh open for a 6-yard strike. After the Swedes fumbled, a15 yard run by Williams set up the score.

The Tabor defense stopped Bethany on a fourth down conversion try, and the offense struck for a third touchdown with under a minute to go in the first. Jones hit Jenkins for a 40 yard throw-and-catch, Marsh ran for 11 yards on an option pitch, and Jones got loose for 13 yardson an option keeper to finish the drive.

Down 21 points, Bethany bounced back in the second quarter. The Swedes jumped on a Bluejay fumble at the Tabor 38, and with 4:35 to play in the half, mounted a four play scoring drive. With 22 penalty yards, the defense backed itself down to its own 6, where Bethany quarterback Larry Harris handed the ball to runningback Johnny Hunt on consecutive plays. Adam Bearden kicked the point-after with 2:49 showing on the clock.

The next drive ended abruptly when Nate Hite picked off a pass Jones and sprinted 60 yards for the score.

Bethany’s Brandon Krinhop blocked Derik Martinez’s attempted field goal two minutes later, and the half ended 21-14 in Tabor’s favor.

In the third quarter, the teams traded defensive stops. Just as the game seemed to be grinding to a halt with 6:29 left in the third, Tabor head coach Robert Rubel dug into his bag of tricks and called a wide reciever reverse-pass. Jenkins took a pitch from Jones on the misdirection play and headed for open space. When the Swede secondary stepped up in a bid to stop Jenkins short of the first down, Jenkins lobbed the ball 36 yards toward Nate Owens, who caught the ball in the end zone. Hite got a hand on Martinez’s kick, but the ball arced just over the crossbar.

The extra point put the Bluejays up by 14, and the Bluejay defense stopped another attempted fourth-down conversion to set up another score. With the ball on the BC 28, 24 yards worth of TJ Jackson runs put Tabor up 35-14 with 2:13 to play in the quarter.

But 2:13 proved to be ample time for the Swedes, as Harris connected with Robert Bieger for a 66 yard score. Another Bearden PAT was the last play of the third quarter, and brought the Swedes back within two touchdowns.

They would get no closer; Andy Bartell, who was covering Krinhop, picked off Harris and returned the interception 43 yards for Tabor’s last score.

Harris connected with Bieger for 59 yards and Krinhop for a 25-yard touchdown as Bethany refused to go quietly into the night.

The Bluejay offense ran off 9 plays and five and a half minutes and Harris was sacked twice and threw four incompletions as time ran out.

Both teams are now 2-2 on the season, but Tabor has played one fewer conference game than the Swedes.

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